Report of the ICES/NSCFP Study Group on the Incorporation of Additional In formation from the Fishing Industry into Fish Stock (SGFI)
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The 2005 meeting of SGFI was reduced to a one-day meeting due to untoward weather condi-tions prevailing in Stavanger during arrival. As a result some of the presentations were given and discussed before the Chair and other members arrived. The starting point of SGFI was the intention to evaluate the North Sea Stocks Survey (Fishers Survey), to examine its suitability for incorporation in the fish stock assessment procedure and, if possible, to come up with proposals for improvement. The main conclusion for the Fishers Survey is that it should be continued and quantitative results can only be expected after a couple of more years, when trends become conspicuous and can be correlated with assessment outputs. Extensive discussions on the format of advice and what is presented in the Working Group Reports led to the conclusion that it is of prime importance to better explain what information has been used in the assessment process and why certain information was not used. This espe-cially holds for the CPUE and LPUE data which in some assessments are used, in others not. It was repeatedly outlined that in some cases the trend in CPUEs could have indicated at a relatively early stage that assessments go wrong. The fishery offers offensively their support and data, at least as a tool for the assessment biologists to check whether their perception of the stock developments coincide or contradict the field experience of the fishery. In this con-text it was pointed out that for some stocks the fishery provides detailed information on haul positions on the log-book sheets, this data seems however to get lost in the process of data processing, to the effect that the data are simplified and pooled back on the ICES rectangle level, thus valuable information is getting lost. The meeting then concentrated on the discussion and evaluation of the achievements of the three years of cooperation. It was concluded that SGFI was a valuable initiative and should in one way or the other continue, not however, in form of the Study Group as has been so far. The NSC will initiate a steering group to meet and design a platform for continuation of the cooperation possibly under the realm of the North Sea RAC. Other ways, including financing though the COM will also be explored.
Contributor: Svein A. Iversen
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